This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Courts and legal action

This content applies to England & Wales

The structure of the courts and legal proceedings, what steps need to be taken before pursuing court action, and the issues around costs and fees.

Structure of civil courts, tribunals and criminal courts in England

Structure of civil and criminal courts, and tribunals. The Civil Procedure Rules and different case tracks. 

Steps before court action and pre-action protocols

Necessary steps under the pre-action protocols before taking action, and factors to consider before going to court. 

Taking a case to court

Process of taking a case to a county court, Civil Procedure Rules, fees, allocation of a case to one of three tracks, and documents to use as evidence. 

Court hearings

The practicalities involved in appearing in court, including information for advisers who are representing a client at a hearing. 

Costs of legal action

The costs of going to court and the financing choices that are available to people faced with a housing court case, usually in the county court. 

Civil legal aid scheme

Public funding for civil cases in England and Wales, eligibility for help, forms of legal aid service, and administering agencies. 

Tenant complaints to HOS

Information about complaining to the Housing Ombudsman Service about a registered provider of social housing in England. 

Complaints to LGSCO about local authorities

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman can investigate complaints against local authorities or adult social care providers and issue recommendations. 

Discrimination and rights

The key concepts of protected characteristics and discrimination in the equality legislation that could help protect housing rights. 

Public sector equality duty

Public authorities must have due regard to the need to promote equality but a failure to may not be fatal to the action taken by an authority. 

Provisions against housing discrimination

Provisions prohibiting discrimination when selling, renting or managing residential accommodation in public and private sectors. 

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